If you've been reading my blog for a while, you've probably seen a rant or two that I wrote about the abomination that is ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager. It is quite possibly the perfect storm of everything terrible in television, an utter failure on every possible level. The writing sucks, the directing sucks and the acting couldn't be more wooden if the leads were Pinocchio and Howdy Doody.
I once said that if I was casting a movie or a TV series, no one who had Secret Life on their resume would even get through the door to auditions. The cast is uniformly THAT BAD on the series, led by an actress named Shailene Woodley.
Funny coincidence, in Alexander Payne's The Descendants, the actress who gives an amazing performance as George Clooney's daughter is also named Shailene Woodley. Even funnier coincidence, the two girls look exactly alike. I thought SAG had rules about two different actors using the same name, for surely this had to be some kind of twin-trick ala Full House crediting the Olsen Twins as "Mary Kate Ashley Olsen."
It's not? The girl playing Clooney's daughter is the same actress who seemingly couldn't act her way out of a paper bag on Secret Life? A wet paper bag at that?
My world makes no sense.
If you saw Secret Life, you'd not find potential in any of the young performers who robotically read their lines. The acting is routinely on the level of a school play performance where a case of stomach flu has forced the casting of understudies a mere two hours before curtain. And surely the material is responsible for much of the blame, but it's amazing that an actress who's so GOOD in one production is almost embarassing to watch in another.
It's a good lesson for us to take as writers - if an actor sucks, sometimes it's our fault.
I'm curious if any of you can recall an instance where an actor whom you'd written off managed to absolutely knock a subsequent performance out of the park. Discuss below.